A Surprising Twist on Chili for the Warmer Months

Once spring shows up even a little bit I try to lean into it as much as possible - picnics outside (even if it’s a touch too cold), as many snap peas and asparagus as I can find, and light jackets that might require an extra few layers underneath.

But some dishes can help bridge that seasonal gap, and who better to help than Jenni Kayne. You may be more familiar with Jenni as a designer but her new book, Pacific Natural, also lets you into her chic California world. The book is divided by seasons and includes recipes but also a wider look at entertaining. Jenni makes everything look gorgeous while still being effortless, and in the book she shares how as a mom and business owner she gets it all done without a lot of fuss.

So Jenni suggested a chili that is perfect for spring or summer - packed with veggies and beans, it is actually vegan but also includes optional toppings that could satisfy anyone who needs a bit of dairy in their life. So watch our video below and make the recipe for a perfect warm bowl of soup to take with you on those spring days that still needs a hint of warmth.

Vegan Chili

Serves 6

5 cups vegetable stock
¼ cup red chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 tablespoons olive oil
2½ cups yellow onion, diced
2 cups carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1¼  cup yellow squash, diced
1¼ cup zucchini, diced
2 cups fire-roasted tomatoes, diced
4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons gluten-free flour
1 (15-ounce) can of organic kidney beans, strained with liquid reserved
1 (15-ounce) can of organic black beans, strained with liquid reserved
1 ear of corn, charred & cut off the cob
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

Topping Suggestions
Scallions, thinly sliced
Cheddar cheese, grated
Avocados, diced
Tortilla chips
Cilantro, chopped
Sour cream
Hot sauce

Combine  vegetable  stock,  red  chili  powder,  and  cumin in a pot over medium heat until hot. 

Meanwhile,  heat  olive  oil  in  a  heavy  saucepan.  Add  onions,  carrots,  garlic and oregano, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 6  minutes,  until  onions  and  carrots  begin  to  soften  and  color  a  bit.  Add squash and zucchini and a sprinkle of salt. Cook, continuing to stir occasionally, about 5 minutes, until the squash and zucchini take on color. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the flour and  cook  for  3  minutes,  stirring  constantly.  Once  the  flour  is  golden  brow n,  add  the  stock  mixture  all  at  once,  whisking  until  the  sauce  thickens.  Lower  the  heat  and  simmer  for  about  15  minutes.  Add  the  beans and corn and adjust consistency, if necessary, with the reserved bean liquid.  Add sherry vinegar and adjust seasoning to taste.

To serve: Divide chili into serving bowls and serve alongside bowls of your favorite condiments for your guests to add as they please.